Simplest setup for colorisation

hi there,
i would like to get some lzx modules so i can send video through it from computer and then colorise it…then record it back to computer. i used to have a visual cortex for this but regrettably sold it …would it be possible with just a ESG3 Encoder and maybe another module like SMX3 Matrix Mixer for extra colour tweaking? or do i need a tbc2 as well?

You’ll need a TBC2 for the video decoding. You can’t just process the undecoded signal, unless you want circuit-bending effects.

ESG3 and a TBC2 will let you do a lot, but a SMX3 will help so much more. Extra fun may be had by using both channels of TBC2 and SMX3. Any modules you add after that point, like Proc, will add more fun.

Contour will be particularly effective for adding more detail to a monochrome signal. Swatch, Stairs or Keychain can add another layer of win.

See the LZX Youtube channel for demos for many gen3 modules. That’ll help you choose which module to add to ESG3/TBC2/SMX3 to best meet your needs.

However, starting small may be your best way to start. So perhaps just TBC2 and ESG3. After that, explore, evaluate, and consider.

Syntonie Entrée is another currently available option for video decoding.

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awesome thnx, this is exactly the info i was hoping for! but whats the tbc2 got that the Syntonie Entrée hasn’t…apart from 2 channels? quite a big price difference.

TBC2 allows you to decode full color from a composite signal. It also has a ramp generator, a still image loader (with a cycle function for animation), proc amp controls for composite sources, and two crossfaders. The built-in ramp generator will allow you to do gradient colorization, when you combine it with the external video source. TBC2 can also up or downscale your incoming video.

The Syntonie module simply converts a component video signal to 1V RGB or a composite signal to a 1V luma signal.


ESG3 is a colorizer in itself, with the ability to make any channel negative, and brightness/contrast controls that are effectively keyers at extreme settings.

SMX3 is a great colorizer, using what Lars called the “F*ck your color space, I’m making my own” patch. RGB goes into the top row of inputs (A1/B1/C1). Those signals are normalled into the second and third row inputs. Now you can map any color channels onto any other color channels, at any intensity, including inversion.

This also works in YIQ color space via Swatch. Gives a different look entirely, very unique, based around luminance and color difference channels instead of RGB.

Proc is a simple colorizer, too, and it’s kind of an all-around necessary requirement for any system. At the bare minimum I would recommend Entree, Proc, SMX3, ESG3.

DSG3 gives control over more exotic colorizing effects. You’d need two of them for full color.

Syntonie VU005 waveshaper is helpful for wrangling contrast. Again, you need two of them for full color.

If you’re going for hard-edged posterization, that would be Ribbons or Syntonie Isohelie.

My Vimeo channel shows some of the colorization techniques I’ve mentioned.


BTW, to clarify, Entree converts

YPbPr → LZX 1V luminance

and can adjust brightness and contrast on the luminance converted from YPbPr

or adjust brightness and contrast on a LZX 1V signal patched in via 3.5mm mini jack.

Entree doesn’t handle composite video at all.

really useful thank you! i watched yr proc video last night. very awesome.
i think i’ll go with dr. yo’s ‘Entree, Proc, SMX3, ESG3’ suggestion.
just trying to figure out if my crappy usb laptop to video adapter sends YPbPr or composite. :exploding_head:

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Importantly not just the signal type, but also its timing, will need to be understood

With analog video, any time base processing requires to digitize the signals (in order to sync 2 video sources together, do scaling/deinterlacing, etc…) So TBC2 is kind of a mini-computer, which relies on both a complex hardware and software, whereas Entrée is a fairly straightforward analog design (simple hardware, no software). Both can do Component to RGB conversion/input an external video signal into the modular system, though that’s the only similarity.

If you want to input two external video signals into the modular system, you cannot use 2x Entrée, unless the two external video signals are already in sync, TBC2 can take two asynchronous video signal and sync them.

With Entrée, the output encoder/sync generator needs to be set to the same format as the external video input, whereas TBC2 can take any format and convert it to the encoder/sync gen format.

Well, Entrée can accept a Composite video signal at its Y input, however only the black and white information from Composite video will be available, TBC2 will convert the full color Composite signal into RGB.

And there is a bunch of other features as Z0NK0UT mentioned.

To make a really crappy analogy, TBC2 is a swiss army knife and Entrée is a butter knife, both can be fine if you’re only eating toasts :upside_down_face:


one of the colorization workflows I was patching out last week had keychain > factors at its core.

the main idea is multing an external input and getting 3 keys from its RGB output (from keychain in this case) then taking one of the clean mults into the inputs of factors and then the 3 keys into factors CV inputs.

In the patch I’ve also multed the Y out from TBC2 and it is going to several places. The first is a little sub modulation that mirrors the structure of the core. Multing a video output, processing it in some way then mixing between the original and the processed version. In the sub modulation I’m processing the Y out with ribbons to bring in more stepped color changes by mixing some of the original Y output to achieve the desired effect. This goes into the top CV input on keychain so that the same signal effects all the keys if desired.

At the end I’m mirroring the same kind of processed/original mixing setup to have a VHS crossfade fade between a multed original Y output and the main colorizer output from factors. This was you can bring in extra detail where you want it depending on how much of the Y is getting used in the ribbons>proc section as well as pulling all the color out to provide some nice darker hue zones to play around with.

I really enjoy making these patch visualizations. It is rewarding to make a patch you like enough to document in the first place but then once I’m to the cleanup stage of the viz the structure of the patch really starts revealing itself. I certainly wasn’t consciously thinking about mirroring the structure in several different variations one after another.

here is a short demo using a still image as external input

I’ll look around in my patchbook and see what other colorizer patches I’ve got :slight_smile:


starting to realising how great the visual cortex is/ was for my purposes.


Right, what I meant was that Entree can’t handle a full composite signal, which is luminance and chrominance combined.

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Chromagnon will also meet the needs of many, as a standalone instrument it will surpass anything commercially available to date.

Another classic tool for colorization is the Sandin Function Generator…

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looks cool…the VISIBLE SIGNALS - RGB MATRIX looks pretty dope too

if you just want to recolor/ process in analogue, you don’t need any modules, any old video mixer or processor will do.

ie: panasonic wj mx or ave series // roland v4 or v8.

archer // videonics // hama // vivanco

depending where in the world you may be.

or just go in software via lumen or vsynth.

don’t have to spend alot to get any of this going.

another colorizer riff from our patchbook :slight_smile:

I would most likely mult one TBC output to both SMX and swatch instead of setting it up like this. At the time I was doing this patch originally I set it up as a simple colorizer start and then started playing with fading (via TBC2 menu/midi) the second TBC input to other things while keeping some of the original.

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